Big Diamonds with a BIG Price Tag!
People have always sought after and fought for the world’s most prized and rare treasures, but nothing has ever compared with the raw power of diamonds. We get the word “diamond” from the Greek word “adámas,” which means (among other things) “unbreakable,” and so these fascinating gems have come to be depicted as a representation of everything from eternal love to power. Unique, precious, and rare, a diamond is a symbol of everlasting power, beauty, and wealth unlike anything else in the world.
Treasured since their use as religious icons in ancient India, the love of diamonds goes back thousands of years. Their value has only increased over time. Wars are fought over diamonds, thieves risk their lives to steal them, those in love yearn from them; it seems there’s no limit to what people will do to have them. And at the pinnacle of all of these treasures are diamonds like none other, with stories pasts stretching back into history and price tags that leave even the ultra-rich behind.
Without further ado, we begin our journey searching out the top ten biggest and most valuable diamonds in the world!
1. The Allnatt Diamonds
Valued at $3 million, the Allnatt Diamond has a size of 101.29 carat and The Gemological Institute of America has rated its color as “fancy vivid yellow.” Named after its former owner, Alfred Ernest Allnatt, this stone’s point of origin is unknown, although some experts speculate that the diamond was originally found where the De Beers Premier Diamond Mind is now loated.
When Alfred Ernest Allnat purchased this diamond in the early 1950′s, he soon after had a floral brooch setting commission for it by Cartier. The brooch (made entirely of platinum) is designed to represent a flower with five petals, with the diamond sitting at its center. When last auctioned in May of 1996, the Allnatt and brooch sold for $3,043,496.
2. The Moussaieff Red Diamond
Valued at $7 million, the Moussaieff Red Diamond is 13.9 carats. While this diamond is perhaps the smallest in the top ten list, it more than makes up for it by being the largest diamond with the “Fancy Red” classification.
Cut around the mid-1990s, the Moussaieff Red is as yet thought to be a young diamond and doesn’t have a very long history. Sometime between 2001 and 2002, Moussaieff Jewellers Ltd. purchased the diamond. Since then, the diamond has been shown at the Smithsonian Museum as part of an exhibit titled “The Splendour of Diamonds.”
3. The Heart of Eternity
Valued at $16 Million, this 27.64 carat diamond got its name from the Steinmetz Group, who cut the diamond into its iconic heart shape form. The Heart of Eternity is currently the 6th largest blue diamond in the world.
Originating in the Premier diamoned mines in South Africa, the Heart of Eternity is thought to most likely have originated in the 1990s, although the exact date is unknown. The stone was then cut and polished at the same time as ten other rare blue diamonds of differing sizes. The work to cut and polish these stones took the Steinmetz Group three years of working around the clock.
4. The Wittelsbach Diamond
Valued at $16.4 Million, the rare blue Wittelsbach diamond weighs in at 35.36 carats and has a unique and odd history. Once thought lost for several decades, this treasured diamond only recently reappeared in January of 1962.
This unique diamond was first recorded in the late seventeenth century, and is of an Indian origin. It is speculated that due to its rare color, this diamond must have one been part of the famous French Blue Diamond, which weighed 112 and a half carats before being cut.
With a clarity and color comparable to the Hope Diamond, the beautiful Wittelsbach Diamond has become part of the Austrian and Bavarian crown jewels.
5. The Steinmetz Pink
Valued at $25 Million, the Steinmetz Pink was first unveiled in May, 2003 in Monaco. Discovered in southern Africa, this diamond is the largest fancy vivid pink diamond in the world. Making it even more unique is the fact that pink diamonds are very rare and only usually found in small sizes.
The Steinmetz Pink is 59.60 carats and has received the grade of being Internally Flawless, another extremely rare trait. Due to its treasured status and rarity, the Steinmetz Group took around 20 months to cut the diamond, utilizing a group of eight people.
This diamond was shown as part of the Smithsonian’s “The Splendor of Diamonds” exhibition.
6. De Beers Centenary Diamond
Valued at $100 Million, the discovery of this diamond was initially announced at the centenary celebration of De Beers. For one year after the diamond’s discovery, it remained uncut as the right tools and conditions were prepared and the stone was thoroughly examined.
After the completion of the cutting, the CentenaryDiamond weighed 273.85 carats and boasted 247 facets–a record in the number of facets polished into a diamond.
The GIA gave the Centenary Diamond a colorless grade of ‘D,’ the best there is, and De Beers subsequently insured the diamond for approximately $100 million. Whether the diamond has been sold since then is unknown, as De Beers Group has a policy of not divulging information of that nature.
7. The Hope Diamond
Valued at $350 Million, the Hope Diamond’s history began when a French merchant named Jean Baptiste Tavernier purchased a 112 and 3/16 carat diamond. Most likely originating from India, the diamond was then sold to King Louis XIV of France in 1668, thus beginning its long history in the public eye. Once used as a piece of ceremonial jewelry for the king’s Order of the Golden Fleece, the diamond has been stolen, recovered, and passed through many generations to get to where it is today.
This French Blue Diamond was eventually donated to the Smithsonian in 1958, where it has since remained. It has only left the Smithsonian four times since its donation, taking trips to France, South Africa, and New York.
8. The Cullinan (400 Million)
Valued at $400 Million, is a pear shaped diamond weighing in at 530.20 carats and is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found. Two diamonds came from the Cullinan Diamond, the Cullinan I (also formally known as the Great Star of Africa), and the Cullinan 2 (known as the Lesser Star of Africa). Both of these prized diamonds are part of the Crown Jewels of the U.K.
First found by Frederick Wells in 1905, this stone was named after the owner of the Premier Diamond Mine, Sir Thomas Cullinan.
9. The Sancy Diamond
Weighing only 55.232 carats, the Sancy Diamond is considered a priceless part of the French Crown Jewel Collection due to its unique history, having passed through war and politics to eventually come to its current resting place.
Labeled as one of the world’s most coveted gems, the Sancy Diamond originated in the mines of Golconda, India, and was once the largest discovered white diamond in the West. Fables and myths were told of the Sancy diamond, some saying that invincibility was granted to whoever wore it; others believed the diamond the be cursed.
All of this conspired to make the Sancy diamond a prized possession to be fought over, and indeed it shows up throughout histories of England’s Elizabeth I, the French Revolution, and even the Napoleonic Wars.
10. Koh-I-noor (Priceless)
Koh-I-Noor means “Mountain of Light” in Persian. At 105 carats, this diamond was once thought to be the largest in the world, but it’s this diamonds history that makes it priceless. Rumors and legend suggest that the stone may have originated before the time of Christ, while others speak of its first appearance in the early 1300s. This prized stone has been documented throughout the past two and a half centuries, at least, with an earliest written reference from 1483.
The gem is currently property of the British crown and is on display to tourists in the Tower of London.
As you can see, diamonds not only give people a sense of beauty and majesty, but they also allow them a unique glimpse into their (sometimes fabled) past. While there is value in the younger diamonds, the stones that have made it through history have always made people wonder, and it’s that sense of wonder, interest, and awe that truly makes these diamonds priceless.